What is it and when would I need it?
Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic treatment, is the process of removing infected, injured or dead pulp from your tooth. At the center of your tooth contains a collection of nerves and blood vessels called the pulp. Infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, and cracks. Symptoms of infection can manifest as swelling of the tooth or the surrounding gum area, as well as sensitivity to temperature or pain in the tooth. The purpose of this procedure is to retain teeth that may otherwise have to be extracted. After a root canal is completed we strongly recommend placing a crown over the tooth to keep it from fracturing or breaking.
What should I expect during and after the procedure?
Since patients are given anesthesia, your comfort level will be similar to other regular dental procedures and we will make sure you are comfortable and at ease at every stage of the appointment. When you undergo a root canal or other endodontic treatment, the inflamed or infected pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected, then filled and sealed with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. Afterwards, the tooth is restored with a crown or filling for protection and will continue to function like any other tooth.
You may feel some discomfort after a root canal has been completed. The three most common reasons for the pain are:
1. Sore jaw joint from having your mouth open for a prolonged time.
2. Sore muscles from the injection site.
3. Mild bruising around the tooth from simply working on it.
What do I do about the pain?
All of the above scenarios should be adequately alleviated with over the counter medication such as Advil or Tylenol.
For more details on root canal treatment, see our Root Canal Post Operative Instructions here.